Michael Jordan is considering selling his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets’ draft picks under Jordan’s ownership have been the worst part of their struggles, despite bad contracts and minimal winning. While Jordan only owned the team since 2010, the team’s draft history goes back to 1989. Though some of the lottery picks made by Jordan’s team have been good, many have been complete failures. The Hornets missed out on massive talent available in some drafts, which is the real issue.
In the NBA draft, Malik Monk was selected as the 11th pick in 2017, while Frank Kaminsky and Noah Vonleh were chosen as the ninth picks in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Cody Zeller was the fourth overall pick in the 2013 draft, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was selected as the second overall pick in 2012.
Worst draft mistakes in the Charlotte Hornets history:
Kirk Haston (2001 NBA Draft) – 16th Overall Pick
Better Available Pick: Zach Randolph – 19th Overall Pick
The Charlotte Hornets had a good history of drafting players until 2001 when they made a mistake by drafting Kirk Haston, who had a short and uneventful NBA career. Zach Randolph, who was selected just three picks later, became a successful player and two-time All-Star with the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 16.8 PPG and 10.2 RPG over eight seasons.
Adam Morrison (2006 NBA Draft) – 3rd Overall Pick
Better Available Picks: Brandon Roy – 6th Overall Pick, Rajon Rondo – 21st Overall Pick, Kyle Lowry – 24th Overall Pick
Adam Morrison, the reigning National Player of the Year, was a highly sought-after draft pick in 2005. He played promisingly for the Bobcats in his rookie season, but suffered a knee injury in his second season, which affected his career. Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, and Brandon Roy were picked after him and became successful point guards in the NBA. Brandon Roy’s career was shortened by knee injuries, while Rondo won championships with Boston and the Lakers, and Lowry helped the Raptors win their first championship in 2019.
Gerald Henderson (2009 NBA Draft) – 12th Overall Pick
Better Available Pick: Jrue Holiday – 17th Overall Pick
The Charlotte Bobcats made a mistake in the 2009 draft by selecting Gerald Henderson at 12th overall, although he had a few good seasons. Jrue Holiday, who was picked later by the 76ers, became an All-Star in his fourth season and excelled as a perimeter defender for the Pelicans, winning the NBA championship with the Bucks in 2021 and being selected for the 2022-23 All-Star team. Holiday could have been a valuable addition to the Bobcats in 2009.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2012 NBA Draft) – 2nd Overall Pick
Better Available Pick: Bradley Beal – 3rd Overall Pick, Damian Lillard – 6th Overall Pick
The Charlotte Hornets’ biggest mistake during Michael Jordan’s tenure as owner was drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in 2012. Kidd-Gilchrist struggled in the NBA and was eventually waived by the Hornets in 2020. They missed out on star players such as Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard, who were selected after Kidd-Gilchrist in the same draft. Beal is a three-time All-Star and an All-NBA team member, while Lillard is a seven-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA team selection, and a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Cody Zeller (2013 NBA Draft) – 4th Overall Pick
Better Available Pick: Giannis Antetokounmpo – 15th Overall Pick
In the 2013 NBA Draft, the Charlotte Hornets selected Cody Zeller, who disappointed in his eight seasons with the team. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo, who became a two-time MVP, a Defensive Player of the Year, an NBA champion, and a Finals MVP. Many consider Giannis to be the best player in the world.
Noah Vonleh (2014 NBA Draft) – 9th Overall Pick
Better Available Pick: Zach LaVine – 13th Overall Pick
The Hornets made another mistake in the NBA Draft with their pick of Noah Vonleh in 2014, who had a disappointing rookie season and was eventually traded. They needed scorers and athleticism, which they missed out on with their selection. Zach LaVine, who would become a 20.0 PPG scorer and All-Star, was available at their pick but was taken by Minnesota.
Frank Kaminsky (2015 NBA Draft) – 9th Overall Pick
Better Available Pick: Devin Booker – 13th Overall Pick
The Hornets had a poor draft selection streak in the early to mid-2010s. In 2015, they chose Frank Kaminsky over Devin Booker who went to the Phoenix Suns with the 13th overall pick. Kaminsky did not perform well in the NBA, while Booker has become an offensive shooting guard star, averaging 26.6 PPG and becoming an All-Star three times since 2019.
Malik Monk (2017 NBA Draft) – 11th Overall Pick
Better Available Pick: Donovan Mitchell – 13th Overall Pick
The Hornets made their final draft mistake under Michael Jordan’s ownership in 2017, selecting Malik Monk instead of Donovan Mitchell. Monk played four seasons with the Hornets and is now doing better with the Lakers and Kings. Mitchell, on the other hand, has been one of the most skilled shooting guards in the NBA since his debut with the Jazz in 2017, averaging at least 20.0 PPG in every season of his career and currently averaging a career-high 27.4 PPG with the Cavaliers in the 2022-23 season. The Hornets are currently seeking a new owner and hoping for a chance to draft Victor Wembanyama.
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